Team 16: Dynamic Regulation of Body Axis Morphogenesis
Our primary interest is to understand the role of Environmental Cues for Axis Morphogenesis.
To this end, we use cutting-edge technologies to study axis dynamics from the tissue to the transcriptional levels through a newly discovered cell type the NMPs.
We use the chicken as a model for studying axis morphogenesis. While birds look quite different from humans, early developmental stages are very similar (right picture).
Our ability to manipulate and challenge the embryo directly in the egg during axis development allows us to pose relevant questions to understand human congenital malformations linked to axial development. We employ cutting-edge techniques of live imaging, lineage tracing, quantitative image analysis, and single-cell RNA sequencing to uncover how NMP cells form the body of vertebrates.
We identified the NeuroMesodermal Progenitors (NMP) in the chick model as a population of cells in the Anterior Primitive Streak (PS) that become the main progenitors in the tailbud (Tb) to form the body axis. (Left)
Once in the tailbud, the bipotent NMP gives rise to cells in both the Neural Tube (NT) & PreSomitic Mesoderm (PSM) that are the embryonic precursors of the Spinal Cord & Musculoskeletal tissue, respectively. (Right)
Current Projects : Role of Environmental cues in ...
... the fate and lineage of NMPs
Using individual NMP color labeling, we can study the fate and lineage of the NMP cells in vivo.
NT: Neural Tube; S : Somite; HL : HindLimb;
... the dynamics of NMP cells
NMP cells morph into the tailbud to become the main progenitors of the body axis through peculiar cell dynamics, i.e. low ingression, low convergence, and high cell division.
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“Building consensus in neuromesodermal research: Current advances and future biomedical perspectives.”, Current opinion in cell biology, vol. 73 , pp. 133–140, 2021.
“Dynamics of primitive streak regression controls the fate of neuromesodermal progenitors in the chicken embryo.”, eLife, vol. 10 , 2021.
“Mechanics of Anteroposterior Axis Formation in Vertebrates.”, Annual review of cell and developmental biology, vol. 35 , pp. 259–283, 2019.
“PAPC couples the segmentation clock to somite morphogenesis by regulating N-cadherin-dependent adhesion.”, Development, vol. 144 (4) , pp. 664–676, 2017.
“Mechanics of epithelial tissue homeostasis and morphogenesis.”, Science (New York, N.Y.), vol. 340 (6137) , pp. 1185–9, 2013.
“Adhesion disengagement uncouples intrinsic and extrinsic forces to drive cytokinesis in epithelial tissues.”, Dev. Cell, vol. 24 (3) , pp. 227–41, 2013.